Sunday Drivers

Old train bridge at Middleton's Riverside Park
 We started today's driving adventure by trying to find Nictaux Falls Hiking Trail. But I'd forgotten the guidebook and couldn't remember the directions, so we simply took a wee bit of a drive.  We started at Middleton's Riverside Park, where we walked the perimeter of the seven acre park.  It had snowed a wee bit last night, and the melted droplets decorated foliage throughout the park.

It was amazingly calm and smelled wonderful.  The jays and cardinals created quite a ruckus as they decimated the few dessicated hawthorne berries left over from last fall.   This short jaunt failed to satiate The Boy's need to walk, and in short order we carried on with our trail-seeking adventure.

Our Sunday Drive took us up South Mountain this fine morning.  Although we did end up on a few sketchy back roads (where "No Trespassing" signs start to outnumber trees), we occasionally stopped to snap a few photos.
Derelict Unity Baptist Church at Bloomington.

Apparently people don't lock their mailboxes in Bloomington.  Poor Canada is keeping his friend, Coat of Arms, company whilst recovering from a broken leg.
After wandering about South Mountain, we made our way back to Nictaux Falls, where we finally saw the falls, and stopped at the wee Hydro Plant.
There is a small hydro-electricity generating station at Nictaux Falls.
 It seems that Nova Scotia Power (at some point) was quite interested in innovation - what with this small generating station which generates 7200kw, as per the sign. If you're curious about how much that actually is, I did a bit of research.  Seven thousand, two hundred kilowatts is equivalent to:

- 9700 horsepower;
- 3600 houses (at 2kw each - equivalent to twenty 100w lightbulbs running simultaneously);  
- 900 Generac Guardian generators (the same model we have hooked up to our house);
- 460 ton marine patrol vessel; 
- 277 old men riding their rotary power lawn mowers;
- 37 2003 Audi S3 Quattro sedans;
- one very large train locomotive; or,
- the power generated by the average commercial wind turbine.

There is definitely no trespassing here... nope. None at all. Could be very, very dangerous.
The generating station at Nictaux.  I was definitely not trespassing. Nope...

... because trespassing could be dangerous - dangerous like, incinerated soil and rocks (sillicates).  As in, an enormous amount of electricity grounded here.   As in, holy shit a person could have been vaporized!  As in, I rapidly un-not-trespassed.
Nictaux Falls in the spring.  This waterway powers the small plant.
After un-not-trespassing on the Nova Scotia Power property, we continued on our merry way.  Over the mountain and through the woods, over to Torbrook we went.  We went and saw our friend's old house, and toodled around taking pictures and generally acting suspicious.  I smiled and waved to a few folks, but no one returned my greeting.  Not even the guy standing in the middle of the road, reading his farming magazine, could be persuaded to smile, wave, nod or even look at us as we passed.  Pity, really.
The red building at the Nictaux Falls stop sign.
The old train bridge at Middleton. This is the same bridge in the water photo at top.
We eventually found our way back to Middleton, and at Boy's insistence, parked by Charlie's feed store and went for another walk.  Running along the Valley floor is an abandoned railroad bed which has been turned into a multi-use path - UTVs, motorbikes, horses, dog-walkers, bicycles, etc are welcome to use this all-weather trail. 

We walked to the other side of the bridge and down to the Nictaux River below.  Had we launched a wee boat at the Hydro station, we may have found it floating lazily down river at this location.
The following paragraphs have been shamelessly plagerized from The Nova Scotia Central Railway by John R. Cameron.

This stretch of rail was finished in 1893 by The Nictaux and Atlantic Railway Company.  NAR was chartered in 1873 (c.40) to build a railway from Middleton, in the Annapolis Valley, to Bridgewater and Mahone Bay, with an extension to Liverpool. Middleton was already served by the Windsor and Annapolis, but Bridgewater would not be connected directly to Halifax for another thirty years.

The NAR ran the Blueberry Special, so-called, because (at least by report) a passenger could jump off the front end and pick a pail of blueberries before the last coach came by. These trains were typically fairly short, reducing the apparent speed even more. Another name for the trains was the Sauerkraut train, obviously referring to the German original of the settlers in Lunenburg County to which they were bound.

In 1875, NAR became Nova Scotia, Nictaux and Atlantic. In1886 the name changed again to Nova Scotia Central Railway Company.

In 1903, barely ten years after it was completed, the Nova Scotia Central became part of the Canadian Northern, eventually Canadian National. The route was operated for passenger service into the 1950s and for freight until abandoned in the 1980s. 

Sadly, The Boy did not find a troll.

That's funny, Too says nice things about them...
I took quite a few photos of The Boy.  If you're interested, Laur has most of them up on her FB page.

1 comment:

  1. Love your photos. If I close my eyes I can almost smell that wonderful spring air.